Temperance in the age of feeling: Sensibility, pedagogy, and poetry in the eighteenth century

Sarah Hattie Maitland, University of Rhode Island


British Romanticism has traditionally been understood as participating in a narrative of progressive secularism. "Temperance in the Age of Feeling" seeks to challenge this narrative by examining the influence of temperance on Romantic conceptualizations of the relationship between sensation, thought, and feeling. "Temperance in the Age of Feeling" begins by investigating Romantic notions of temperance as influenced by Book II of Spenser's The Faerie Queene. It claims that Romantic temperance differs from classical temperance because Romantic temperance is concerned with balancing mental faculties while classical temperance is concerned with moderating passions. Next it considers how temperance influenced Romantic theories of the relationship between the senses and the mind. Drawing on the study of neuro-Romanticism, it argues that Romantic medicine and Romantic poetry shared a concern with the possible negative repercussions of sensory overstimulation. In the final chapter it engages with the overlap between temperance in Romantic theories of education and religious sermons from the period. By pairing education theory with religious sermons "Temperance in the Age of Feeling" shows the ways that religious thought on temperance influenced many of the educational ideas that continue to govern modern pedagogy.^

Subject Area

Literature, General|Literature, English

Recommended Citation

Sarah Hattie Maitland, "Temperance in the age of feeling: Sensibility, pedagogy, and poetry in the eighteenth century" (2015). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3689241.